"A widespread irruption of this nuthatch beginning in mid-summer indicated a cone crop failure in the Northeast. Most will leave the eastern half of the province for the winter, but some will probably remain in northwestern Ontario where cone crops are much better. "
I hadn't ever seen any northern finches before this fall as last year was my first year birding and last winter was a non-winter. But now, it being November 20 today, winter isn't even upon us yet and I have already seen Pine Siskin, White-winged Crossbill, Red Crossbill, Common Redpoll, and Evening Grosbeak. From Ron Pittaway;
"This winter's theme is that a fair number of species--especially Red and White-winged Crossbills, redpolls, Pine Grosbeaks, and Evening Grosbeaks--are likely to be on the move this year due to widespread crop failure of fruiting and cone-bearing trees in Canada."
Turner's Pond, Milton, Massachusetts, (11/12/2012)
Canon EOS Digital Rebel and EF400 5.6L @ F6.3 1/1000 ISO200 handheld
Pine Grosbeaks have already been seen at Plum Island along with the occasional Hoary Redpoll mixed in with the Commons. I almost can't wait to see what this winter brings. Hopefully many chances for photography.
Below is a series of photographs of White-winged Crossbills at Salisbury State Reservation from two different dates. The rich pink bird is an adult male white the paler pink is an immature male and the greenish-tinged one is a female.
Salisbury Beach State Reservation, Massachusetts, (11/7/2012)
Canon EOS Digital Rebel and EF400 5.6L @ F5.6 1/400 ISO400 handheld